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New bloggers will probably feel my pain. Seasoned professionals will probably cringe and laugh (maybe even pee a little). For those considering starting a blog, here are 5 cautionary blogging lessons.
This is not a simple get rich quick career or hobby. The reality is most bloggers quit within a year and make little to no money. Before beginning a blog, know your goal.
My goal is simple. As someone who had achieved financial independence by the big 40, I want to help others achieve financial independence by sharing meaningful savings, investing, and career insights to those who are serious about achieving financial independence.
Since I am not looking at this blog as a money making opportunity, my lessons are more about the process and my ego.
Blogging Lesson #1: There will be Startup Pain
After working on the website for a month, it was time to launch. The website was checked and double checked for seemingly everything. This was the proud moment and I pulled out my cell phone. I pulled up the website and gasp…Houston…we have multiple problems.
- Not all internal links were working correctly in the footer.
- Font sizes were nutty on the mobile screen. This was definitely not the case when I checked in the mobile view.
- There was some general wonkiness that needed to be addressed pronto.
Panic…can I fix this? No major computer skills here. I am definitely a non-programmer.
Fear…what is someone finds this site by accident right now and mocks it? My blog is doomed before it even starts.
Breathe…stop hyperventilating and lower that blood pressure. It can all be addressed. It just took most of the day.
Blogging lesson: Even if everything looks okay in the viewers, there is nothing better than checking live. Just plan to take a day or two to work out the major bugs. Additionally, minor bugs are going to raise their heads. Just keep squashing them every day.
Blogging Lesson #2: Trying New Things is No Easy
90% of all articles I read stated the best place to begin promoting your blog is on Pinterest, so I created a business account (easy). I created a pin – everything looks fine. I posted the pin to a board. Hooray. I click on the pin. OH, CRAP…I see the dreaded no URL.
Panic…delete, delete, delete. Fear…Pinterest is going to kick me off. Breathe…why did that not work?
I am actually not sure why it did not work. I deleted the pin so fast that I did not have time to investigate. Try again, it looks okay.
I stopped for the day after pinning one pin to one board. I needed a very strong drink and congratulations on not throwing objects at my computer.
Blogging Lesson: Nothing is easy. Just don’t panic every time something does not go exactly as planned. Remember to celebrate milestones, even when the milestone is considered insignificant to those big bloggers. This is your journey. Breathe! Maybe take up Yoga.
Blogging Lesson #3: Set the Right Expectations
After officially having my website up for about 1.5 days, I was really questioning what I was doing in the blog space. Posting 1 pin doesn’t bode well for a stellar adventure. I decided to totally ignore my website for 3 days. Intestinal fortitude is apparently not my strong suit on this journey.
Additionally, there were few people reading my post. I put significant effort and time into the post. Everyone should love the post and share it . The post should be on the first page of Google. The reality was only a couple people read my lovely post. What an upset.
Then, I put on my big girl pants and started again. I reviewed my goals for the month.
Blogging Lesson: It’s simple really. If it’s not a challenge, you are not growing. The key is to set the right expectations and reset goals if the goals are unrealistic. Sometimes that means putting on your big girl pants and starting again.
The doubt is real and creeps into the thought process way too often. Keep looking at your goals and stay focused.
If you are not committed to writing for yourself for at least 6 months, don’t bother thinking blogging is for you. Getting ranked on Google is hard and takes months of post promotion through various social media outlets.
Blogging Lesson #4: Just Ask for Help
So, every article on how to set up a blog account on Pinterest states: (1) Get the Business Account, (2) Claim Your Website and (3) Apply for Rich Pins. I got the business account, claimed the website whippersnapperfinance.com and applied for Rich Pins.
The Rich Pins weren’t rich. Crap…what did I do now? I read 20 more articles on how to apply for Rich Pins. I have a degree in engineering and I watched 90 year old ladies on YouTube get Rich Pins in 5 minutes. What in the world was my problem? Dear Jesus, help me.
I finally broke down and emailed Pinterest. After a few collecting data emails from Pinterest, Pinterest stated the problem was theirs and it was affecting all current applications. Amen. Breathe.
Facebook groups can be really helpful in finding out about social media and software bugs. These groups are also good for giving feedback. Sometimes your focus is too narrow and you are looking at a leaf and not the tree or forest. If you are open to feedback, these groups can help.
Blogging Lesson: There are a lot of people who have done the blogging thing and are willing to share their expertise. Additionally, sometimes other people make mistakes. Have patience with yourself and others as everything is likely to work out just fine.
Blogging Lesson #5: Other Bloggers Mislead — No Lie — to Make Money
Trust me on this on this one. No wait that is the sure sign of a liar.
If you are starting out, don’t get crazy on the blogging investment. Most likely, even with all your great enthusiasm today, you will quit blogging within a year.
I will probably write a post at some point on what I would recommend new bloggers consider purchasing. The list will be short.
Here are a few thoughts off the bat:
- Don’t Sell Right Away: Grow your following and reputation. It will help keep things simple. You won’t have enough traffic anyway to make a killing.
- Email: No business, no need for an email. Don’t set-up your site email until you are seeing significant visitor volume to your page.
- Don’t Buy Themes: You can figure out the free themes until you see good traffic and then switch.
- Do Protect Yourself: Domain privacy and legal protection are important.
Blogging Lesson: Blogging investments are like any other investment. Get rich schemes are a quick way to part you from your money. Caveat emptor.
Blogging is an interesting journey. My blogging goal, as mention before, is to help other become financially independent. In researching topics, I have tried, experimented, and learned new things that have actually made and saved me more money. Maybe the biggest blogging lesson is to keep learning.
If you are interested in financial independence, please feel free to stick around and read a few articles. Don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list to get a free financial challenge workbook. It is never too soon to start on the path to financial independence.
Good Luck, Whippersnapper Finance